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Research Papers

Damage Accumulation Modeling and Rate Dependency of Spinal Dura Mater

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicole Ramo

School of Biomedical Engineering,
Colorado State University,
1376 Campus Delivery,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1376

Snehal S. Shetye

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Colorado State University,
1374 Campus Delivery,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1374

Christian M. Puttlitz

School of Biomedical Engineering,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Department of Clinical Sciences,
Colorado State University,
1374 Campus Delivery,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1374

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 26, 2017; final manuscript received October 17, 2017; published online November 21, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Karim Heinz Muci-Kuchler.

ASME J of Medical Diagnostics 1(1), 011006 (Nov 21, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JESMDT-17-2021; doi: 10.1115/1.4038261 History: Received July 26, 2017; Revised October 17, 2017

As the strongest of the meningeal tissues, the spinal dura mater plays an important role in the overall behavior of the spinal cord-meningeal complex (SCM). It follows that the accumulation of damage affects the dura mater's ability to protect the cord from excessive mechanical loads. Unfortunately, current computational investigations of spinal cord injury (SCI) etiology typically do not include postyield behavior. Therefore, a more detailed description of the material behavior of the spinal dura mater, including characterization of damage accumulation, is required to comprehensively study SCI. Continuum mechanics-based viscoelastic damage theories have been previously applied to other biological tissues; however, the current work is the first to report damage accumulation modeling in a tissue of the SCM complex. Longitudinal (i.e., cranial-to-caudal long-axis) samples of ovine cervical dura mater were tensioned-to-failure at one of three strain rates (quasi-static, 0.05/s, and 0.3/s). The resulting stress–strain data were fit to a hyperelastic continuum damage model to characterize the strain-rate-dependent subfailure and failure behavior. The results show that the damage behavior of the fibrous and matrix components of the dura mater are strain-rate dependent, with distinct behaviors when exposed to strain rates above that experienced during normal voluntary neck motion suggesting the possible existence of a protective mechanism.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Uniaxial testing apparatus with labeled components; (b) five thickness measurements were made via analysis of images taken with grips turned at a 90 deg orientation from the testing configuration. A representative tension to failure test showing the sample at (c) 0.5 N preload, (d) prior to midsubstance failure, and (e) immediately following midsubstance failure.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Representative experimental stretch-stress curves (colored symbols) from each strain-rate group demonstrate the elastic nonlinearity which is characteristic of hydrated fibrous soft tissues. The group averages for maximum failure stress, stretch at maximum stress, and the model fit (black curve) RMSE are also given.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Ξmin, which is related to the strain energy at which initial damage occurs, appears to follow a linear pattern with respect to strain rate in both the matrix and fibers (R2 values of 0.99 and 0.97, respectively). While Ξminm increases with increasing strain rate, Ξminf decreases at almost the exact same rate. Letters indicate significant differences.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Plots of Df and Dm [0,1] versus stretch. Damage initiates when the damage parameter deviates from zero and is considered complete when the damage parameter is equal to unity. In a subset of the quasi-static tests, the force did not completely return to zero following midsubstance failure; therefore, for these samples, the damage parameter does not extend all the way to one. Most of the Dm curves approach unity before the Df curves, indicating that the matrix completely fails prior to fiber failure regardless of strain rate. Variations in damage behavior can be seen as the change in slope between components at the same strain rate or between the same components at different strain rates.

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